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1. (WO2019064276) METHOD OF STRENGTHENING GLASS SUBSTRATES
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Claims

1. A method of strengthening a glass substrate, comprising the steps of: applying a saturated solution at temperature Ti on the glass substrate at temperature T2, wherein the saturated solution contains an ionic salt and a liquid solvent, and wherein Ti > T2;

allowing the solution on the glass substrate to cool, thereby precipitating the ionic salt as soon as the solution temperature decrease, leaving a crust of salt adhered to the surface of the glass substrate; and

heating the glass substrate at a predetermined temperature T3 for a predetermined period of time Ϊ3, wherein the temperature T3 ranges from the melting point of the ionic salt to preferably temperatures below the strain point of the glass substrate, and the time Ϊ3 is enough to allow an ion exchange process.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of applying the saturated solution comprises: immersing the glass substrate in the saturated solution; and immediately extracting the glass substrate from said solution.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of applying the saturated solution comprises atomizing the solution on the glass substrate via spray means.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of applying the saturated solution comprises painting the solution on the glass substrate via paint application means.

5. The method of claim 1, further comprising, after the step of heating the glass substrate, the step of cooling the glass substrate.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the step of heating the glass substrate and the step of cooling the glass substrate are carried out by a heat source with at least one heat transfer mechanism selected from the group consisting of convection, radiation and conduction.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein in the step of allowing the solution on

glass substrate to cool, the cooling rate is from l°C/min to 100°C/min, preferably from rC/min to 50°C/min.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein in the step of allowing the solution on the glass substrate to cool, the thickness of the crust lies between 16 and 600 μιη, preferably between 20 and 400 μιη, and even more preferably between 20 and 200 μιη.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the glass substrate is selected from the group consisting of soda-lime, alkali aluminosilicate, lithium aluminosilicate and alkali alkaline earth aluminosilicate.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein the ionic salt is selected from the group consisting of ionic salt of the form ANO3, mixed ionic salt of the form (A, B)NC>3, and a mixture thereof; wherein both A and B are an alkali metal.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein the ionic salt is a mixed ionic salt of the form (C, D)NC>3 ; wherein C is an alkali metal and D is selected from the group consisting of transition metals and rare-earth metals.

12. The method of claim 1, wherein the ionic salt contains at least one salt selected from the group consisting of sulfides, chlorides, halides and hydrates.

13. The method of claim 1, wherein the liquid solvent is selected from the group consisting of water and at least one organic solvent.